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When is the best time to take ashwagandha?

Uses, timing, and risks of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to lower stress levels. This article investigates whether you should take ashwagandha in the morning or at night.

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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
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Last updated on September 22, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on September 13, 2022.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant-based adaptogen used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.

Adaptogens are plants that support your body’s physiological response to stress and have been linked to lower stress levels and improved sleep.

With more people turning to natural remedies, ashwagandha has grown in popularity for its health-promoting properties.

However, ashwagandha may lead to stomach upset for some people, so choosing the right time to take it may help you reap the most significant benefits without any side effects.

This article investigates whether you should take ashwagandha in the morning or at night.

Ashwagandha uses

Ashwagandha supplements have recently soared in popularity as a natural remedy that may provide various benefits, including reduced blood sugar, stress, and anxiety levels and improved sleep and immune health.

People commonly take ashwagandha for its adaptogenic properties, which are believed to help regulate the body’s natural stress response.

Ashwagandha is usually available in tablet, capsule, or powdered form. It’s also known as an oil or cream in other cosmetic products.

Studies on these other preparations of ashwagandha, such as oils and creams, are limited. Most of the ashwagandha’s benefits are linked to oral supplementation rather than topical application to the skin or hair.

Summary: Ashwagandha is most commonly used to help combat stress. It’s generally consumed as a capsule, tablet, or powder, but it’s also available in various creams, oils, and other skincare products.

When to take ashwagandha

In general, you can take ashwagandha any time of day or night. However, depending on your goals and tolerance, you may prefer to take it in the morning or evening.

Taking ashwagandha in the morning

Unlike many other supplements and medications, ashwagandha’s benefits are not immediate, and it can take days to weeks before you begin to notice its effects.

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For example, in one study including 60 people who took 300 mg of ashwagandha daily, it took upward of 10 weeks to observe its full effects on their sleep quality, compared with those in the control group.

As such, choosing when to take ashwagandha largely depends on your personal preference.

If you’re taking ashwagandha as part of your supplement routine for general health, you may wish to take it in the morning along with any other vitamins or supplements.

That said, taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach may lead to mild stomach discomfort in some people. Therefore, you may wish to take ashwagandha after breakfast or after eating a small snack.

Alternatively, you can try adding ashwagandha to a smoothie, drink, or other meal.

Taking ashwagandha at night

If used to promote sleep, you may opt for ashwagandha powder in moon milk before bed to help you relax.

For people who experience stomach discomfort when taking ashwagandha, taking it at night may be a better option than taking it in the morning, especially if you prefer taking it on an empty stomach.

It’s most important to choose a time when you’ll be most consistent in taking it, as well as that feels best for you.

Summary: Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning, at night, or at any other time. Timing will mostly depend on your personal preferences, tolerance, and the type of ashwagandha you choose to take.

Risks of ashwagandha

Generally, ashwagandha is considered safe for most people.

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In some cases, high doses — usually those beyond the recommended dose suggested on the package — may lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Therefore, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the label and speak with your healthcare provider before changing doses.

In rare cases, liver problems have been reported, though this may be due to other contaminants in unregulated supplements. Be sure to purchase ashwagandha from a trusted supplement company.

Finally, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking immunosuppressants, sedatives, antidepressants, or other medications.

Summary: Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people. Pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medications should consult their healthcare provider first.

Summary

Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen with many health benefits.

Most people take ashwagandha as a capsule or powder that can be taken at any time of the day.

You may wish to incorporate it into your nightly routine to promote good sleep habits. Alternatively, taking it in the morning suits your way better.

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Since ashwagandha takes time to work, you can take ashwagandha when it’s most convenient for you. However, you may wish to take it with food or at night if you notice any stomach discomfort.

All in all, the best time to take ashwagandha is when you’ll most consistently take it.

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